Musings about life through the eyes of an old helicopter pilot.
Ooooo, this one really makes me mad. I hate to resort to insults, but I feel like I can't avoid one here. There is a notion on the part of reactionary idiots like yourself, that only people who support the war, who are fighting the war, or who are conservative are patriotic. Let's examine some of the "true" patriots, shall we? I think you would have a hard time arguing that men like John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Jay or a number of other signers of the Declaration of Independence were not the truest form of patriots, yet these men never touched a weapon. They were not in the army. They never lead men into battle. They used words as their weapons against England, and those words were far more effective than any gun ever was. Those words changed the face of the world. So to suggest that you are somehow better, more deserving of free speech because you served in the army makes me want to vomit. You are better than that nurse who comes in to the ER every day with a smile on her face for the raging alcoholic? You are better than the lawyer who stays up late to defend the man he knows is guilty? You are better than the pastor who lives in poverty and chastity?It's easy to die for your country.It takes a real patriot to live their lives every day for the people and ideas of that make that country great.
First, thank you FF for stopping by and leaving your thoughts. Your words do far more to make my point than anything I can write.Secondly, you'll notice I don't resort to name calling when I respond to you...(Dana Carvey now:)"Wouldn't be prudent!"Thirdly,I'm MOST proud of my military service because I protected the rights of angry, bitter human beings to come to my blogsite and make nasty comments.Again, thanks for commenting.Please continue.
Nice trapBet you were just waiting for me to step right into that one.There are such things as right and wrong. George Bush was just plain wrong when he invaded Iraq and there were no WMD's there. It's not that I respectfully disagree with him that there were no WMD's there, it's that he was completely and utterly wrong and an idiot for invading. I do not respectfully disagree with you on this point. You are wrong. Plain and simple. I don't know if it's matter of ignorance, education, or just plain unwillingness to see the truth. You're just wrong. And it makes me angry when you assert that you're right. Not bitter, but definitely angry.
"Patriotism is usually the refuge of the scoundrel. He is the man who talks the loudest.""Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it." "The citizen who sees his society's democratic clothes being worn out and does not cry out is not a patriot but a traitor." Smart fellow, that Mark Twain.
"If the bubble reputation can be obtained only at the cannon's mouth, I am willing to go there for it, provided the cannon is empty. If it is loaded my immortal and inflexible purpose is to get over the fence and go home. My invariable practice in war has been to bring out of every fight two-thirds more men than when I went in. This seems to me Napoleonic in its grandeur."Mark Twain as a Presidential Candidate," New York Evening Post, 6/9/1879Yeah pretty smart. He'll "get over the fence" while others protect his freedom of speech.At least he admits it...Staying alive at any cost is his goal. Thank God we have heroes willing to protect men like Samuel Clemens, a pretty fair writer, I'll admit!
A fair writer indeed. Lets just say that "Patriotism" is a term that the right has spent much time in the last several years attempting to re-define. People who do not agree with the policy of the Bush administration have been labeled "Unpatriotic", all for excercising our most patriotic duties as Americans.....the freedom to disagree, and say so. The 2nd Twain quote I left seems the most relevant these days.
Let me pose an argument to someone that hasn't resorted to infantile name-calling, Neil:You have a son or daughter in Iraq. You know that one of the things Islamic extremists do VERY well is play our media like a fiddle.Harry Reid comes out and says, "The War is Lost."Remember, your child is fighting these people... will continue to be exposed for the near future. It is to her/his advantage, and therefore your advantage, for our enemies to be as disheartened and ready to quit as possible.So, would you call this patriotic dissent, or stupid, dangerous politics?I think it's a valid argument to call it aiding and abetting, and if my son or daughter were at risk, I'd be furious.Be honest.
I think we may have forgotten why we got into this war, I mean the real reason.We had a Base in Saudi, the home of Mecca. We flew over Iraq many times a day and increasingly met aggression.The Saudi people wanted us out yesterday! But the rulers knew we could not leave without taking out SH, I believe a deal was struck: we take out SH and then get out of Saudi Arabia.The day we attacked, every US plane in Saudi, flew to Qatar and the base was closed as far as the US was concerned.Don’t forget that SH had pulled our chain, so to speak, at least every two years or so since 1991. Every time that happened we would deploy thousands of personnel and equipment to the theater . SH had an expensive yo-yo and he loved to play.Nearer the war’s onset, we had moved thousands of assets to the Gulf, and they sat there, and sat there, and sat there. If we left without finishing the job, we could not come back,, not easily anyway. There is one other thing that may sound trivial to many, especially if they have never camped out for any length of time. Marines and Army types have a mind set that I can only describe as focused and aggressive (I’m sorry to generalize so I hope you would allow me some leeway here) Keeping them locked up and in the sand for months on end must have been like having a border collie, an intelligent dog that MUST work, in a cage. You can’t treat soldiers like that for very long and we did it for months and months waiting for the UN to enforce all the rules SH had broken. He was playing the yo-yo game again.I proudly served my country and would do it again in a heartbeat. My problem with this war is that I don’t believe Rumsflield, Bush, et. Al. had read Sun Tzu. One of his tenets, and it’s hard to prove him wrong on any of them, is plan for the end before you start. Some body BIG blew this off.They also forgot that urban warfare is a nightmare to avoid at all costs.Another thing: for the last several years, the military has been down-sizing, trying to become leaner and meaner, using high tech equipment to balance the reducing manning. It was a fatal flaw in the early days of Baghdad. There should have been so many boots on the ground that it would have been difficult to see the dirt! It would have been a million times easier to restore law and order.Brenner made to so many major mistakes, it just makes me ill but this entry is too long already.Now, before you begin to argue with me please remember : I am old, I am female, and I am RIGHT so don’t argue with me,,, I don’t want to hear it. Carry on but PLAY NICE!
PT-I've asked you this before and got no answer. I even posted about it...no response from anyone.What was our exit strategy when FDR gave his "Day of Infamy" speech in 1941? Please give me the reference.
We seem to be getting a little off topic. None the less....Yes, I agree Harry Reid's comments were unhelpful at best, and both stupid, and dangerous at worst. While I do think that I'd rather have a politician (if we must have one at all) that will tell things like it is, as opposed to living in alternate universe where this thing is going well, I think Reid was both wrong, and irresponsible. No doubt. And I dont need to have a kid in combat to know that. I'm not sure, to be honest, how that relates to my comment about the right redifining the meaning of "patriotism". But, theres the answer to your question, sir.
'41 was a vastly different set of circumstances. If there was an exit strategy, I'm not aware of it. I think also, that having an exit strategy from a truly global war is vastly different from the occupation in a government building invasion. It's apples and oranges. I dont think it's a fair comparison...
GB, what I mean by exit strategy is about the same as "when do we stop fighting?"The answer in WWII was not only taking the Axis powers to the point they either could not fight anymore (or didn't want to) but to the point of unconditional surrender. Then and only then could we stop fighting. Where is the end point in this war? The Big Guys could only tell us “When the terrorists are defeated” – hardly a specific end point. The insurgents have no country like Japan, Germany and Italy had. There is no one to formalize the end of hostilities. They obey no law but their own.Terrorism is a concept and in this case it is wide spread and has many masters.Terrorism has been used in one way or another in just about every conflict and is only controllable, IMHO, if it is attached to a nation state that can stop it.
Uh...whatever you say Neil!My point is, it's either important to have an exit strategy, or it's not. I think most would agree that WWII was a necessary war. Some of us also think this war is necessary. If it was fine to enter WWII without this all important "exit strategy", is it not equally important to begin to accomplish what needs to be done without one now, hoping to plan for an exit when we can?By the way... when do we "exit" Germany?Japan?Korea?
PT, I don't know how to make this question any simpler...You say we needed an exit strategy for this war... Sun Tzu says so!What was the U.S.exit strategy when we entered WWII?
GB, part of the "deal", if you will, of unconditional surrender was that we got to have strategic bases. (We have to negotiate and pay a lot of money to keep them, to be sure). “Exit strategy" refers to the end of hostilities i.e. “when do we stop fighting”Sun Tzu (and it’s been a while since I’ve read him) talks about planning for the end of war: What do you want the area to be like in peace time? Hopefully you want to convert the people to your way of thinking and make them happy enough that they would rather be friends rather than unhappy folks plotting your demise while smiling to you face. Do you want to remake the country? How much of it? From the infrastructure up to the government? Do you want to keep their monetary system? Their culture? The basis for their economy? Do you want them to take care of themselves or do you want to be their supervisor/parent? If the country is far from home, are you prepared to keep forces there indefinitely? The more you destroy, the more you get to rebuild and the higher the cost, both in bodies and money. Sun Tzu basically argues that war should be avoided at all costs. However, if it is inevitable, you stack the deck to your advantage. You fight smart and keep peace always in focus. Know the Will, the Way, the Weather (and some other stuff) before you begin.GB, I think I’ve said this before, and I repeat myself now that I believe it is extremely difficult to discuss complicated subjects in this venue. It isn’t that I don’t want to it’s just that everything gets so abbreviated and things get misunderstood. People who could discuss complicated stuff in person without rancor, end up chopping arguments into misleading sound bites.I have known you for a very long time and I have a lot of respect for you. I don’t want to argue, I’m only stating what I believe to be true from military studies/history.Besides that, as I said, I’m old, I’m female and I’m always right. ;))))
The fact that terrorists have hit targets around the globe doesnt jive with what we are talking about. We are talking about an exit strategy for a country we have invaded and now occupy. (Well, we were actually talking about patriotism, but who am I to stick to a topic..)WWII was being fought by military battalions of all descriptions in many oceans and many countries, and the alternative to that was to allow the Germans to continue to take entire countries as their own, and continue to massacre millions of people. I am not one of those that believe that if we leave Iraq, all the terrorists will show up in the Hudson river in row boats. The "Follow us home" argument is absurd. Terrorism may be a global problem, but our war, by the Bush administrations ill advised determination, is in Iraq. (and Afghanistan, in a more sensible determination)We dont have boots on the ground engaging in combat operationsa in Syria, in iran, in Saudi (where the majority of the 9/11 hijackers came from) etc, etc, etc. I grew up in the UK during a time when terrorist hits were frequent in London, where my father worked. At the same time, there were terroist attacks in the mid east, in the far east, and around the globe. It didnt constitue a truly global war then, and it doesnt now. It's a great slogan for the war marketing folks in Washington, but it doesnt jive with reality. A global problem? Absolutly. But as long as we think Bin Laden is in Pakistan, there are established terrorist cells in Saudi, Syria, Iran, Pakistan, and we decide to invade Iraq and not those countries based on nothing but politics, no one has any business calling this a global war. And, any comparison to WWII is just too far out of the ball park to be based on logic.
PT-First, you know the feeling is mutual. And actually I agree with most of what you say. I am just sick to death of cliches, and this "exit strategy" business doesn't work for me. We've talked before and since I'm gettin' NO definitive answer from you, I'll just take it you agree that we had no idea where we were headed in WWII... we just had an idea of the direction we needed to go, and we got started in that direction.Neil, I think I disagree with most of what you say. I'll agree that the World War we now find ourselves in is at a lower scale, from a numbers and an intensity viewpoint. But the thing that scares me most about what I see around me is "sheep" trying to deny that they see lots of eyes in the darkness around them. You'd probably answer that Bush has scared me into believing there are terrorists behind every shrub. Well, maybe I am paranoid, but it ain't just Bush that has made me that way...(Refer to my "YouTube" post above this one.)And let me compliment you. You bring a level-headed argument to the blog, and you have the ability to put thoughts together in such a way that they make sense. Sincerely, thanks for your comments, but we are now in the stage where we are talking "at" one another, and I think will have to agree to disagree.Disagree? ;<)
GB, I don't understand why you say we didn’t have an exit strategy or end point in WWII. I think we had a very clear end point. We would stop fighting when the Axis capitulated totally and completely. Unconditional surrender would stop the war.We would settle for nothing less.It wasn't that we would fight until Japan left the Philippines. Or until Germany gave back confiscated countries. Not even fight until Mussolini grew hair!After their surrender, we would not continue to fight,, let’s say,, until Europe or Japan became States,, or Berlin was renamed Freedom City There was only one goal and it was clear. Unconditional surrender was the game ender. I’m not sure what our goal is in this war. When does it end? The fall of Baghdad? done!The trial and death of SH? Done! When schools are not ammo dumps? Done! When elective surgeries can be done? Done! When we rebuild their infrastructure? Done, (Blowed up, Sir, to quote Bill Murray in Stripes) & re-done, etc. When they can handle their own security? I can’t begin to list the ways that little operation has been sabotaged.What exactly is the goal? When can we cease hostilities? That’s what I mean by not having an exit strategy. The news/views sources may have their own definition of exit strategy but, of course, if they differ from mine, they are wrong. ;)
"I’m not sure what our goal is in this war. When does it end?"Now we're gettin' somewhere!You're pretty good with history, PT,so let's get to a point of agreement. How long has this "war" been ongoing?Therein lies the answer to the bogus "exit strategy" argument.And being a Civil War buff, I smile every time I imagine you pulling clumps of hair from your scalp about the mistakes Bremer, Rumsfield, Bush, et Al. have made.Can you put yourself in Old Abe's shoes? Ha.
How do you define the beginning of the war, GB? I'm not sure where the head nor the tail of that dragon is.
You make my point exactly, PT.How can you plan an end to a war that has been going on since the time of Abraham, (and I ain't talkin' about Lincoln!)
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